Do you remember the first story you ever told?
This question has appeared in multiple ways for me this week. First, in this new podcast episode, Dr. Elisabeth Sharp McKetta and I explore the link between myth, memoir, and storytelling. The night after we recorded our conversation, the topic came up in a different, but related way when I spontaneously dropped in on a friend who then invited me to share some homemade lemonade.
From these two conversations emerged a thought about why story is such an essential part of our being. Before we have words or are able to say, “this is what happened,” babies, if they have a safe environment to do so, express through emotions. The raw data or sensory information coming in from around them and through them comes out in some way. Ideally, they are heard, their needs are met, and the energy of those emotions moves on.
What happens when we have words added in? When language starts to form? Or when no one honors us by listening?
Over lemonade, my friend said that it’s a whole process of being able to share or give voice to those sensations (which often feel big or confusing) and say, “this is what happened to me.” Which made me think of it as parsing out energy and that, ideally, those words of experience are received by someone who takes care to listen and witness (without taking on any of the energy of someone else’s experience) so that, again, there is a process through which the energy of that moment can move through a body and not become stuck. We see this technique used in working with PTSD in the form of narrative storytelling therapy.
When we don’t have story or the language to put into our experience and to share it, or the emotional equivalents of release, then often, we feel isolated, alone, like no one cares, and a whole host of beliefs and internal attempts to manage, lock down, hide from those raw sensations and emotions create imbalance and dis-ease.
There is much, much, more to this conversation, tied to deep psychology and the patterns, beliefs, and energetic imprints we each have developed around telling our stories. This is all layered within the context of energy and stories we have inherited (often without knowing) because of big experiences that our parents or grandparents, or someone down the line held and was unable to process through their bodies and/or stories. So that energy remained held, behaviours and beliefs grew around it to try to compensate for the imbalance, and all of those where handed down. Think of how this plays out not just individually, but collectively.
Storytelling then, is a crucial part of healing. As the energy becomes expressed, unlocked, moved through, (even if it’s been held for generations) then everything else changes along with it. Giving voice to, and being heard are key evolutionary steps to finding new ways of being, rebalancing, and healing.
What does this have to do with Birch?
Dreaming with Birch is being birthed into the world today!! As I was creating her paperback yesterday, I was excited by the convergence of these conversations and her medicine!
As one of the first trees here on Earth after the Ice Age, Birch is a leader, instigator, and knowledge seeker who helps guide the evolution of consciousness here on the planet (something we all participate in). I used to read with Birch when I was a kid. Tucked up in her branches with a book, sharing those stories with her.
She also is the first letter in the Ogham alphabet (found in Celtic lands) and her bark was the first used to write language upon in many places around the world.
Dreaming with Birch explores more of Birch’s role here, why it’s important on an individual and collective basis, and also shares her spiritual essence, herbal medicine, folklore, and a guided journey so that you can learn even more about how to connect with this tree and discover information just for you and your path.
If you do read together with Birch, I’d love to hear more about what you discover together!
For more information, visit the book’s page.
eBook available for Amazon Kindle (device, app or laptop):
Paperback book available:
*The information shared in this post is not intended as medical advice or diagnosis. This post was originally published as a newsletter in July 2021.
Click here to subscribe to future newsletters.